a blog about the cultural experiences my husband and I have because of our work abroad...what's delightful and beautiful about different countries and cultures...what we have learned from living and working in countries other than our home country...and how those experiences have changed us

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Kandawgyi Nature Park and the Zoological Gardens

On the weekends we often try to take long walks from our apartment out in different directions to explore our new city. Yesterday Stephen and I walked south toward the city center to Kandawgyi Natural Park. Stephen had located the lake on one of the maps we have of Yangon and wanted to see what it was like. What we discovered was another beautiful green space in the city. A large lake was crisscrossed with boardwalks and full of flowering lotus.

The garden areas surround the lake were filled with trees and bushes, many with flowers. We seem to find new plants we’ve not yet seen before all the time. Like this very strange and colorful flower.

I tried to learn the name of the bush it grows on but my internet search gave me nothing. :( Ah well, I still took several photos for possible future paintings of this flower plus the lotus and also one of the many dragonflies that were flying around.

Next to Kandawgyi Natural Park were the “Zoological Gardens”. I had not heard this term before and didn’t know if we would find animals or just gardens. After purchasing tickets for 3000 Kyats (about $3) per “Foreign Adult”, we soon found out. At the entrance/exit there were these long heliconias among palm trees and a variety of other plants and flowers.

And our first animal exhibit was the hippo enclosure. One of the hippo enclosures: we saw another one later in the day.

After the hippos we saw a cement sculpture that we think is only likely to be found in an Asian zoo park.

A living sculpture of an elephant was right after the cement dragon sculpture. So in only a few minutes it became clear that “Zoological Gardens” was the perfect name!

I am fascinated by big cats. So I was thrilled to discover the white tiger.

And then the orange and black tigers. We saw 5 of them! And there were possibly more. Unlike any other zoo we’ve visited around the world, this Yangon zoological gardens had multiple locations for many of the animals.

There was a fierce lion.

And a beautiful jaguar.

I think one of the highlights of the day was feeding the Asian elephants. For 1000 Kyats ($1) we could buy a basket of pieces of sugar cane. We bought three baskets.

There were many other animals too.

Asiatic black bears.



A giraffe. With quite an elaborate exhibit at the front of its habitat.

White rhinos.

And birds. Like this type of hornbill.

And on the roof of the love bird cage were some domestic cats I guess maybe hoping for one of the birds to escape!

There were also black swans and white swans, pelicans and various kinds of ducks. A couple of kinds of deer. Sun bears. Lots of monkeys. And a reptile section that we mostly skipped. :) We did pass by a few crocodiles. They stay so absolutely motionless, one could easily mistake them for stone sculptures.

The “Zoological Gardens” turned out to be another wonderful discovery in the city we call home. It and the Kandawgyi Nature Park are happy additions to the list of pleasant aspects of living here that balance nicely against the not so pleasant aspects.